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Sci-Fi

Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End 852

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-say-we-all dept.
On Friday evening, Battlestar Galactica ended its four-season run as one of the most popular science fiction shows in recent history. 2.4 million people tuned in for the finale, and reactions to the ending — positive, negative, and often a mix of both — are springing up all over the internet, as are tributes and retrospectives. Producers Ron Moore and David Eick held a Q&A session after the finale to discuss certain aspects of the story and spell out the final status of several plot lines. Fans of the show will have a chance to see the Cylon side of the story this fall in a two-hour TV movie titled "The Plan," and we've previously discussed the spin-off prequel series, Caprica, the pilot for which will come out on April 21st. Be warned: these links and the following discussion will contain spoilers.
The Almighty Buck

Sony Bringing RMT To Vanguard 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the saga-of-ka-ching dept.
Eurogamer reports that Sony Online Entertainment will be adding the ability to do real money trading to at least some of their Vanguard: Saga of Heroes servers. It's the same service they opened for a pair of Everquest II servers a while back. Quoting: "The service, offered by Live Gamer, allows players to sell items, currency and characters for real cash through a secure channel, authorised by the game operator. Most real-money trading in MMOs is a 'grey' market that doesn't have the operator's consent. ... Sony Online Entertainment recently said that it had no intention to bring its other real-money trading initiative — the Station Cash item shop — to Vanguard."

Comment: Re:Actually, they are aliens (Score 1) 220

by Valarauk (#27118871) Attached to: Hulu Again Removed From Boxee and Again Added Back

(So let's just hope they're abundantly stupid like the aliens in Signs and never take into account the fact that if water kills you on contact, maybe you shouldn't invade a planet covered in mostly water, inhabited by beings made of mostly water. HTF did that movie ever get past the script stage?)

Use a little imagination, say the beings in Signs were actually biologic helper-constructs and that the water vulnerability and low IQ were checks put in place by their creators to prevent them from pulling a planet of the apes on their asses. The things are mass cloned from eZEmatic constructor nanites for zero cost anyways, who cares if they get fucked up.

For a sci-fi nerd, and I assume you are if your still thinking about Signs seven years later. You seem to have taken a lot of preconceptions about alien species to the theater with you. Try to have an open mind. Remember, just because a good director has to make a story plausible within the bounds they define doesn't mean they have to spoon feed the viewers everything! The water susceptibility and IQ weren't important to the story so they were left up to us.

Sci-Fi

New EVE Expansion Nears, Possible Mobile Plans 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the isky-business dept.
As the EVE Online creators ramp things up for the free Apocrypha expansion due out next week, lead designer Noah Ward sat down with MTV's Multiplayer blog to discuss the future of the game and what characteristics continue to keep players interested. Ward says they've considered branching out to consoles, but ended up deciding that the game doesn't really lend itself to console play. He left the door open to using smartphones for "augmenting" gameplay. Ward also mentioned that upcoming space MMOs Jumpgate: Evolution and Star Trek Online are so different from EVE that they're not really worried about direct competition; EVE thrives in part because of the player-generated drama and scandals, which few games pull off as well. Massively has gathered a variety of details about the Apocrypha expansion, which includes the game's first epic mission arc, and they've also posted some screenshots. CCP Games launched a website for the expansion containing concept art and interviews with some of the developers.
PC Games (Games)

Massive EVE Online Alliance Disbanded 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the create-your-own-drama dept.
tnt001 writes "In the world of EVE Online, the infamous Band of Brothers alliance has been disbanded. It seems that rival alliance Goonswarm had a spy in the holding corporation, and he stole money as well as capital ships and other assets. The spy then disbanded the alliance. 'One of GoonSwarm's stated motivations from their early days as an alliance was to punish what they viewed as the arrogance of Band of Brothers. If they've held true to that ideal, stealing the alliance out from under BoB effectively means GoonSwarm has accomplished what they set out to do years ago.' As of 11:00 GMT, BoB lost all its sovereignty (its outposts are conquerable now, cyno-jammers are offline, jump bridges are inoperable)."
Role Playing (Games)

"Live Expansion" Announced for Warhammer Online 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the stepping-up-their-game dept.
Zonk brings word that Mythic has announced their plans to expand Warhammer Online in the coming months using a series of live events that will open up new careers, gear, and zones. The first event, planned for sometime in March, will allow access to the Dwarf Slayer and the Orc Choppa, as well as a new RvR scenario. Later, players will race to unlock a massive new zone, the Lands of the Dead. The expansion itself is titled "A Call to Arms," and it will be rolled out free of charge.

Battlestar Galactica's Last Days 799

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the starbuck-freaks-me-out dept.
bowman9991 writes "If your country was invaded and occupied by a foreign power, would you blow yourself up to fight back? If someone pointed a gun at your head and threatened to pull the trigger if you refused to sign a document you knew would lead to a hundred deaths (and you signed!), would that make you ultimately responsible? Does superior technology give you the moral right to impose your will on a technologically inferior culture? You wouldn't expect a mainstream television show to tackle such philosophically loaded questions, certainly not a show based on cheesy science fiction from the '70s, but if you've watched Battlestar Galactica since it was re-imagined in 2003, there has been no escape. The final fourth season is nearly over, and when the final episode airs, television will never be the same again. SFFMedia illustrates how Battlestar Galactica exposes the moral dilemmas, outrages, and questionable believes of the present as effectively (but more entertainingly) than any documentary or news program. It's not hard to see parallels in the CIA and US military's use of interrogation techniques in Bush's War on Terror, the effects of labeling one race as 'the enemy,' the crackdown on free speech, or the use of suicide bombers in Iraq."
Space

Soyuz 4/5 Made History 40 Years Ago Today 166

Posted by kdawson
from the probably-wearing-dockers dept.
dj writes in with a reminder that forty years ago, on January 16, 1969, the two Russian spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 carried out the first docking between two manned spacecraft and transfer of crew between the craft. Wired's piece gives a gripping account of "one of the roughest re-entries in the history of space flight": "Soyuz 5's service module failed to detach at retrofire, causing the vehicle to assume an aerodynamic position that left the heat shield pointed the wrong way as it re-entered the atmosphere. The only thing standing between Volynov and a fiery death was the command module's thin hatch cover. The interior of Volynov's capsule filled with noxious fumes as the gaskets sealing the hatch started to burn, and it got very hot in there (which, a short time later was something he probably missed). ... But wait. There's more."
Portables (Games)

CCP Considering Mobile Apps For EVE Online 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the universe-in-your-pocket dept.
Massively reports on statements from EVE Online developer CCP Games indicating that they'll be working with MIT students to see if they can create mobile applications that will interact with EVE . They specifically mention things like skill trainers, route planners, and transaction viewers, but they leave the door open for other apps as well, saying they are "eager to hear what ideas MIT students might come up with."
Image

Zoe's Tale 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
stoolpigeon writes "John Scalzi, the author of Hugo Award-nominated science fiction novel Old Man's War, has built what started as a story serialized in his blog into a series of full novels and short stories. The latest installment in the OMW universe, Zoe's Tale, is quite a departure from the previous three books. It is the first of Scalzi's sci-fi novels written intentionally as young adult fiction. In a move that I am sure will continue to fuel Scalzi/Heinlein comparisons, Zoe is a precocious young woman thrust into a world of adventure and danger. In just three years Scalzi has built an impressive resume as an author of fiction, and Zoe's Tale will be no small part of what looks to be an influential and outstanding career." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.
Role Playing (Games)

New EVE Online Expansion Detailed 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the excel-in-space dept.
Eurogamer reports on the EVE Online Fanfest, at which developer CCP revealed details on the game's next expansion, due out in March. It will be the biggest expansion yet for EVE, and it will "introduce 'Tech 3' modular ship designs, branching epic mission arcs, further improvements to the new player experience, and exploration of uncharted space through unstable wormholes. ... The focus of the expansion will be 'true exploration,' with players using new skills and modules to travel through wormholes into all-new, unconnected space." CCP also hinted that further graphical upgrades would be coming, and a standalone first-person shooter based on EVE may be in development for a console release.
Math

First "Observation" of Hawking Radiation 86

Posted by kdawson
from the simulation-or-experiment dept.
KentuckyFC writes "Italian physicists are claiming the first observation of Hawking radiation, but not from a black hole. Instead they've spotted it streaming from a sonic horizon in a Bose Einstein Condensate (abstract on the arXiv). That's consistent with previous predictions but they're claiming the 'first' even though the experiment was only a numerical simulation. Does that really count?"

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